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Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 at 9:03 am

My Take

By Mark McGee

We all measure time in different ways.

One of the more unique and thought provoking methods is one used by Lance Bennett, the preacher at Fairlane Church of Christ.

For several weeks he has placed a large glass vase filled with marbles beside the podium. There are 4,000 marbles in the vase with each one representing a week in a person’s life. Based on his calculations a person who lives to be 80 has used all 4,000 marbles.

We can talk about the number of days or weeks we have remaining but those are merely hypothetical discussions.

Seeing 4,000 marbles and knowing they represent the average life expectancy gives those time discussions a more solid basis of understanding and realization.

When we talk about people who are insane we often say “they have lost their marbles”.

Looking upon that vase I have started to think about how many marbles I have lost at the age of 66. I’m not talking about going crazy, though some people might give you more than even odds that I am.

I’m talking about the hours which turn into days which turn into weeks I have wasted because, like most people, I thought I had plenty of time.

I should have started writing books 20 years ago, but the demands of my job at that time made difficult to do anything else. I always thought that once I went into working part-time I would have those hours to work on my projects.

I was wrong. I check the obituaries and calculate how much time I have left based on the average ages of those who have passed away. I know we are not guaranteed another minute, another hour or another day.

Having dodged death once in my life 13 years ago I emerged from the experience with a new sense of urgency. But other obligations have tempered that urgency with a new reality.

I am 14 years short of reaching that 4,000-week milestone. I would like to think that if my health and my mental faculties stay solid I would like to surpass 4,000 weeks.

I do know I don’t want to think about how many weeks I have remaining to reach that goal.

“If you had just a minute to breathe and they granted you one final wish would you ask for something like another chance?” sings Steve Winwood in Traffic’s “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys”

I would ask for another chance, but I would also ask for many more marbles to add to my life’s collection.  I know one thing. I have goals I want to accomplish and things I want to do before I lose all my marbles.